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New Dinghy
Thu Aug 14 0:00:00 EDT 2008, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

We have a new dinghy now. Much as I like rowing dinghies, the Dark Dinghy (which folds for easy storage) is not the easiest dinghy to row. A stiffer (non-folding) and heavier dinghy would row better, but I haven't seen any really good rowing dinghies in the parts of Europe I've been to. So I bought an inflatable with an outboard engine (not shown) from another cruiser. This inflatable dinghy, made in China, sold in Portugal by Honda, uses unusual Florida-made valves, for which pumps are hard to find (which is why it is not fully inflated in the picture). I'm working on getting a pump adapted to fit the valves.

There is a very sad story associated with this dinghy. The fibreglass ketch it was from belonged to a couple of Dutch guys who had been here in Las Palmas for a while, and recently left for Puerto Mogan (south part of this island), Cape Verde and Brazil. Their first day out, two miles off the Gran Canaria shore, black smoke began pouring out from down below and, after trying unsuccessfully to fight the fire, they escaped in the dinghy and the fibreglass ketch sank. It is not known what caused the fire, though something related to a recent engine replacement was suspected. The water is too deep for diving, so they will never know. They found themselves on a beach with a dinghy and motor and not much else, and when they got back to Las Palmas, wanted to sell the dinghy. We've done a lot of things to Issuma to protect against fire (replaced all the fire extinguishers, fireproofed the engine compartment, added fuses to the main wires off the batteries), due to stories like this one.

Wed Aug 13 0:00:00 EDT 2008, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

It rained today! It may sound odd to mention but I've been in the Canary Islands for two months now, and today is the first time it has rained. It only rained a millimeter or two, and its not the kind of rain that makes you want to put on a raincoat, but it was quite unusual to hear the rain and see the deck wet with anything other than salt water. The air here mostly comes from the Sahara, and doesn't spend long enough over the sea to pick up a lot of moisture. So it is generally hot and sunny here, and hardly ever rains.

Brittany has departed for adventures ashore in Turkey and New York, and is missed greatly. George and I have been working on a lot of repairs and modifications. George does the vast majority of the work while I spend much of my time chasing down obscure parts in various ferreterias (hardware stores) with my very limited Spanish. Among other things, we've added a new cleat to make the mainsheet easier to handle, replaced the mainsail cover, replaced the main halyard winch with a self-tailing one, overhauled many of the winches and replaced many lights with LED lights (which take less power). One of the roller furlers died (the bearings inside broke, and replacements are no longer available), and we are waiting for a new unit to replace it with.

Punta de Antiquera
Tue Aug 12 4:52:21 EDT 2008

Punta de Antiquera
Fri Aug 8 10:53:25 EDT 2008, Tenerife, Canarias

Beautiful anchorage of Punta de Antiquera, at the northeast tip of Tenerife.

Tue Aug 12 9:48:55 EDT 2008 | Suzette
wow - i can't imagine sailing somewhere as beautiful as that. other than call the challenges, it must have been dreamy.
hope all is going well out there! wonder where the voyage has taken you since britt left. let us know!
Sun Jul 10 6:45:45 EDT 2011 | hector

browsing through internet i came to your blog. I am a local sailor from the canary islands and your comments about sailing here have made me very happy. I celebrate that you enjoy sailing at ours.... Best regards and sorry for my english ;)
Mon Jul 11 18:40:26 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Hector, thank you. The Canary Islands are a really nice place to sail, glad to hear you are sailing there.

All Dressed Up
Fri Jul 25 13:03:07 EDT 2008, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Freshly showered and wearing clean clothes? Good golly, we need to document this! Before embarking on one of our festive evenings, a young sailing instructor passing by Issuma in his dinghy was kind enough to take this shot. I insisted that we get a picture before leaving Issuma, as we may not have looked quite like this after riding in Dark Dinghy. :)

Acceleration Zone - Richard
Fri Jul 25 12:46:58 EDT 2008, Southwest Corner of Gran Canaria

On Friday, July 25th, Richard, George and I departed Puerto Mogan on the south side of Gran Canaria for Tenerife. Our friend Maxime had warned us of the strength of the winds in the acceleration zone as you round north up the eastern coast of Gran Canaria. As you can see from the quality of the sea and the angle of the boat in relation to it, Maxime was right. And yet, our intrepid Captain Richard is unfazed by the seas crashing over the sides of the boat, giving him a refreshingly briny bath, over and over again. Is that the hint of a smile I see? :)

Acceleration Zone - Brittany
Fri Jul 25 12:36:00 EDT 2008, Southwest Corner of Gran Canaria

Given the wild surf, the highly focused look on my face, and the fact that my hair is literally standing on end, you might gather that steering in the acceleration zone is not exactly a piece of cake! The wind and waves amounted to a few notches below gale force, and in this photo, I was steering while Richard was busy reefing the main. The wind was so strong that frequently I had to use my entire body to steer. This was done by throwing the tiller hard over, and using my entire body as a "tiller extension" by forcing my arms and legs out horizontally between the tiller and the side of the cockpit...a la "Cirque de Issuma." :) Shortly after this shot was taken, the powerful winds broke several of the mainsail hanks, forcing us to return to Puerto de Mogan for repairs. This was not a bad option as Puerto de Mogan, called the Venice of Gran Canaria, is a beautiful location in which to conduct repairs.

Tue Aug 12 9:40:07 EDT 2008 | Suzette
what an excellent shot! britt, you look muy serioso and a little bit frightened. plus, i can't imagine how long it took you to get all that gear on... or off!
oh, and your entry with all it's technical language that sound like a joke to my uneducated ears reminds me of that crazy cartoon of mom and dad on the sailboat!
xo sue
Charting the Course
Fri Jul 25 12:12:09 EDT 2008, Southwest Gran Canaria

Richard the Lion-Hearted Navigator, scepter of parallel rules in hand.

Bronzed Dog
Mon Jul 14 12:08:08 EDT 2008, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Richard and me on one of our outings to Vegueta. We are standing before La Catedral de Santa Ana. The dog that appears to be licking Richard's hand is actually bronze...not bronzed. :)

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